CD: Trailerhead – Nu Epiq (2014)

November 24, 2014 | By


Trailerhead_NuEpiqScore: Very Good

Label: Imperativa Records

Released:  May, 2014


Tracks / Album Length:  19 tracks / (69:07)

Composer: Yoav Goren, Aleksandar Dimitrijevic, John Samuel Hanson, Greg Dombrowski, Chris Haigh, Edward Bradshaw, Daniel and Deryl Cullen, Phillipe Rey, and Thomas Vo.

Special Notes:  Foldout case.




The composers behind Trailerhead return with the fresh collection of epic cues designed to energize movie trailers, if not inspire editors while assembling a montage of money shots, dialogue excerpts, and teaser captions more or less anchored to intro phrases like ‘In a world where….’

Yoav Goren and his team of composers and orchestrators are unabashedly deliberate in their musical designs: statements are emotionally huge, percussion sections just pound away, and like an updated Alfred Newman sound, strings often reach as high as possible while a large chorus chants alongside pounding percussion.

Goav’s sound embraces classical bombast with punchy electronica, incorporating some flanging, distortion, or cyclical patterns than deepen whenever a central melody cycles back for another round. “This War Must End” begins with fat, vibrating electronic tones, after which come backbeats and trailing guitar, while a distant chorus swirls to add extra dimension.

Guitar and throbbing bass are also dominant in “Wolf Moon Uprising,” which also features metallic chimes, fuzz guitar, and chorus. The main rhythmic pattern is tribal, and electrified bass tones pulse and warble under a gentle harmony, demonstrating the clean contrasts within some of the album’s more diverse cues.

If there’s any weakness to the material, it’s the recurrence of a familiar structure as the orchestra attains specific shades of rage, danger, desperation; peaks of strained emotional states; and a big wrap-up, which often culminates in a full assembly of orchestra and electronic additives.

Most cues range from 3-4 mins., and while there are moments of quiet, most seem geared to evoke states of solitude (the opening bars of “Prologue to a Conquest”) or the fast collision of very distinct emotions (such as the romantic, medieval-styled “One Destiny to Follow”). The specificity of Goav’s cue structure ensures a formula, giving the album a curious combination of a constant flow in spite of moments where cues share similar levels of bombast.

Emotions within cues rise and recede, just as trailer montages accelerate reactive images and re-use classic keywords and creeping big text. It’s a formula, but an effective one that in its own way preserves a version of classical Hollywood bombast, yet staying within a realm where orchestral and synthetic co-exist in perfect harmony.

Also available: a review of Trailerhead: Triumph (2012), and a podcast interview with composer Yoav Goren.



© 2014 Mark R. Hasan



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